Being wealthy is a personal assessment of your current circumstances. However, what you consider wealthy and what I consider wealthy maybe completely different. I know something about the variations of wealth as the zeroes in my bank account have been much smaller than the ones in many of your accounts over the years.

However, for the purposes of this article, wealth means that you are financially secure enough that you never have to worry about having enough money to address today or tomorrow’s needs. Instead, you get to focus only on checking things off of your wish list. Although we all wish this was us, very few people can say with conviction that they “have made it”.  Usually, the people in this group have been in a comfortable position for a long time.

You may ask, how do you get to this state of financial comfort?

I have never personally been very wealthy, but I have been around several wealthy people for years. I would like to believe that some of the knowledge they hold has rubbed off on me and I would like to share it with you. Hopefully, you can take some of this information and build on it so that you and your family can one day say with confidence that you are also financially set.

Most of the people who are wealthy today, their wealth was acquired years ago either by their parents or their grandparents.  However, if you look in the family’s background, somebody along the way made some big sacrifices to acquire this amount of wealth. In doing so, they were able to put away enough money to sustain their family and the family after that, which we called in my neighborhood having “old money”.

Although this is a wonderful position to be in, there maybe a catch for some people, and that is, not all of their children or relatives truly appreciate their level of comfort and will take their wealth for granted. However, in taking their wealth for granted, they sometimes fail to prepare themselves properly to face tough challenges of the future. For example, they don’t want to work in the family business, they don’t want to go to college, or they don’t want to work the long hours like their parents did.

Theses children want the privileges of living comfortably, but don’t want to make the sacrifices that their older relatives made to build the family’s wealth. It’s easy to fall into this trap of living carefree and not worrying about money problems when things are given to you without having to face any obstacles.

I know a few people are in this predicament, but I won’t release their names as that is a private matter. I feel for these parents that have children that have gone away from the standards that their parents had set up for them.  These parents have bought their kids cars, paid tuition fees, paid for extravagant vacations, and paid for a number of costly failed projects, all to help their kids to live a good life. And after they have done all this, their children still have not learned that taking their wealth for granted is a problem that has to be stopped. I know from talking to a couple of people that this is very painful for these parents.

I’ll stop here, as there is another important part to address. In order to build wealth and to be able to sustain it, the question has to be asked, who will step up to keep it going? The road to keeping your wealth is just as rough as the road was to build it according to the wealthy individuals that I have talked to.  You can’t keep wealth without putting some effort into saving and investing wisely, as these are the foundation blocks.

As a result, every parent wants to know, after giving their children everything they want, will my children use their talents and skills to help build up the wealth to cover the next generation? This was the challenge that their parents placed on them and they are wondering if their children will do the same.  If they do so, this would be great to see.

Finally, building financial wealth, keeping wealth, and protecting wealth are three different tasks that have to be performed in order to keep your money growing.  As parents, I believe it’s our responsibility to teach our children that and to also give them all of the necessary tools so that they can continue building on what we have given to them. They need to know how to save, how to invest wisely, and how to control their spending habits on a consistent basis.  In doing so, they will be on their way of keeping the wealth that was left for them.

But, it’s worth noting that if they choose to take a lackadaisical approach, they may be sorry later on because if their wealth is taken away, they may not get it back. As a person who has been the opposite of wealthy, you don’t want to be on that side because it is filled with all sorts of financial and non-financial hardships. Since I don’t want any of you to go down that path, you should be very appreciative of what you have and consider yourselves lucky that you have the wealth that you do.

In closing, I hope that after reading this article you will look at your situation differently about wasting your resources.  I also want you to use your education, your intellect, your mental toughness, and a few of your other outstanding attributes to work towards building the next level of wealth for you and your family.  You must also remember, there were others who made sacrifices in the past for you to live well, and now it’s your turn to step up.  Are you going to continue to take your wealth for granted, like the children noted above, or are you going to do something to keep it going? As a parent myself, I sincerely hope that you choose wisely, as we are all counting on you.